REPORT OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE
The Town of Abington just completed another year of level funding, and the
Annual Town Meeting has approved the budget for FY 2007 another level
funded budget. We appreciate the town departments operating under these
constraints because the town is fiscally stable. This was our first full fiscal year
under our new model of a Town Manager, and the new system has been
successful. The charter Committee who supported this change in our town
management deserves our praise for their efforts and foresight. There is better
co¬ordination of resources and services, more efficiency in the running of
essential services, and clear lines of accountability that has improved the
quality of services the townspeople receive.
This past year the town was able to put considerable sums of money into our
Stabilization Fund and also into the Capital Improvement Trust Fund. This was
done in large measure by an initiative undertaken by the Treasurer Collector's
Office under Paul Donlan and completed by Leo Provost under the authority of
our Town Manager, Mr. Phil Warren. The town was able to collect on past tax
obligations and put most of the money into these accounts for future needs.
Another development that will benefit the town is the approval by the towns
Abington and Rockland and the city of Weymouth to approve of the "mixed use"
development plan for the Weymouth Naval Air Base under the authority of the
Tri-Town Development Corporation. Each of the towns has been negotiating
mitigation agreements in exchange for our support of this development project.
Abington will realize some much needed assistance in equipment and
improvements that would otherwise have to come from our tax base. With these
benefits will come some changes to the town and demands on our services by
this area as it gets developed.
The town also approved some commercial development that will provide some
benefit to the town. As we grow and develop we also change. As we grow there
are increasing demands placed on our town services and supports. Projects like
Target's will bring revenue into the town and may also provide some
employment opportunities, but we will also see expectations for more town
services being available to assure safety to shoppers and people who live in
that part of town.
The town has stayed level funded since the budget reductions of 4 years ago.
As we continue to grow in the areas we listed above as well as ongoing
residential development there will be additional demands to increase the
amounts of services the town provides to our residents and local businesses.
The town has increased and improved its administrative structures over the
past three years, but our service delivery systems will be stretched as they try
to respond to the ongoing needs of the town and to the demands that growth
and changes to the town is experiencing.
The town was also able to approve the costs for replacing the roof on the Early
Childhood Center (ECC) thanks to the efforts of the School Department and the
Town Manager, and we are able to fund this project and stay within the levy limit.
Our schools will continue to require financial assistance and increased funding
to support the kinds of educational programming we want for our children and
the levels of scholarship and preparedness we expect from our schools as our
children move on from our schools to higher education.
The town has a good foundation from which to face these challenges. We need
to work together and to develop a plan for how we want to grow and expand our
services to meet the needs and challenges of the town over the next ten years.
The structures are in place to do these coordinated efforts, and such
collaboration will save the town money while we try to deliver required services
in efficient and reasonable ways. Town Meeting remains the forum by which we
can present to you what we are planning and get your feedback on what you
consider important for us to include in our planning efforts.
There are several changes to the Finance Committee for the upcoming year. We
are losing Jack McLaughlin, William O'Hara, Jennifer Oriola and Frank Quinn. We
want to thank these folks for their time and service to the committee. As much
as we will miss the contributions these members made we also want to welcome
our newest members to the committee. They include Nancy McDonough, Phillip
Parks, Michael Stracco and Patrick Sean Tyler. We are most fortunate to have
Richard Cunningham and Chris Aiello accept re-appointments each for another
three year term on the committee. Returning is Denis Bergin, Jack Freeman and
Theresa Maze. We look forward to another year of challenges and
oppor¬tunities as we try to represent the best interests of you, the people of
In closing, we want to thank Ms. Deb Libby for her continued stewardship on the
Finance Committee. She has been our recording secretary for over 7 years and
has done an outstanding job keeping track of our meetings and discussions. As
members come and go Deb is our constant. She is our resident historian for
what has happened over time, and she also serves as our Parliamentarian which
in many respects keeps us on task and on track with the agenda we have to
cover. She is invaluable to the work we do and the recommendations we make
before Town Meeting.
|Finance Committee - 2006 Annual Report